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Pyrite Natural Crystal Cube in Basalt Matrix

Fools gold! 1.2cm natural formation, from Navajun Spain

Price $14.00 USD
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world.class.antiques Toronto, ON CA
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  • Item # 463844
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Available for sale today is an amazing natural pyrite cube in basalt matrix. It is approximately 1.2cm on each side. It was mined in Navajún, Spain. Pyrite, also known as "fool's gold," is an iron sulfide mineral with a metallic luster. It often forms cubic crystals and can have a pale brass-yellow hue, slightly resembling gold. The pyrite crystals found in the Ampliación a Victoria deposit are renowned for their exceptional quality, large size, and well-defined crystal faces. These crystals are often found embedded in a clay or basalt matrix.

Does the nearly perfect cubic shape of this pyrite specimen captivate you as much as it captivates us? Below, we answer several questions that initially puzzled us when we began collecting minerals and fossils many years ago.

Where is this specimen from?

It was mined in the pyrite deposit of "Ampliación a Victoria", a mineral deposit located approximately 3 kilometers northwest of the town of Navajún. Navajún is a municipality in the province of La Rioja, Spain. The deposit is known for its exceptional pyrite specimens, which are highly sought after by collectors and mineral enthusiasts worldwide. Miners use various techniques, such as excavation and blasting, to access the pyrite-rich areas within the deposit. The extracted material is then processed to separate the pyrite crystals from the surrounding matrix. The recovered specimens undergo cleaning and preparation to enhance their appearance and remove any impurities.

You can plan to visit the mine where this specimen originated from. Access the mine's website here: https://www.piritasdenavajun.com/

Why this almost perfect cube shape?

The perfect cube shape of the pyrite crystals found in the Ampliación a Victoria deposit is a result of the mineral's crystalline structure and growth patterns. Pyrite belongs to the cubic crystal system, which means its crystals naturally form with a cubic symmetry. This cubic structure is a characteristic property of pyrite and is often observed in pyrite crystals worldwide.

During the formation of pyrite crystals, individual atoms of iron and sulfur arrange themselves in a repeating pattern, following the rules of crystallography. This arrangement results in the development of well-defined crystal faces and edges, which give the pyrite crystals their distinct cubic shape.

The perfect cube shape of the pyrite crystals from the Ampliación a Victoria deposit is particularly noteworthy because it is relatively uncommon in pyrite occurrences. While pyrite crystals can vary in shape and habit, those from this deposit are renowned for their exceptional cubic form and sharp edges.

How long does a pyrite cube takes to form?

The growth rate of pyrite crystals can vary depending on the specific conditions and geological context. It is challenging to provide an exact growth rate for pyrite crystals, as it can be influenced by various factors. In some cases, pyrite crystals can grow at a rate of a few millimeters per year under favorable conditions, where the necessary elements for crystal growth are readily available. However, this growth rate is not a constant, and the actual rate can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances.

On the other hand, you can have a growth of around 1mm per million years. This is a conservative approximation based on general observations and geological timeframes. It takes into account the slow growth rates of minerals like pyrite and the geological timescales typically associated with crystal formation.

Ultimately, the formation time for a 1cm pyrite cube can span millions of years, but the exact timeframe can be influenced by a range of factors, including variations in growth rates, geological events, and local conditions.

Are there any metaphysical properties attributed to pyrite minerals?

Pietro Maria Canepario, cited in 1619 Avicenna as stating that “if pyrite is worn on an infant’s neck, it defends him from all fear.” (credit)

While pyrite has been historically associated with various beliefs and folklore, including notions of protection and warding off evil, it's crucial to approach such claims with skepticism and recognize them as part of cultural beliefs and traditions rather than scientifically verified information. It's always recommended to rely on current scientific knowledge and consult reputable sources for accurate and evidence-based information.

Should you hold an interest in pyrite, our marketplace boasts an assortment of multiple listings for your perusal.


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